May 9: Scansano Loop

As the day begins,the hills seems to come alive with the sound of music -- the birds begin their choral concert at morning's first light. With a clear blue sky and a multi-shaded green landscape as a backdrop the music reverberates across the valley. Gently the day begins with a breakfast feast fit for a king! Homemade tortes and cakes, fresh made yogurt, scrambled eggs, rolls and jam, pizza!, fruit, sausage, cheese -- and of course that wonderful cappuccino! And -- a treat of a ride that starts by going down hill!

The plan for the day was to make a large loop through the neighboring countryside through the towns of Magliano in Toscana and Pereta and return to our same hotel, Antico Casale di Scansano. The roads picked had little to no traffic on them, so one could just pedal and enjoy the scenery.

It is hard to describe what one sees as one pedals through Tuscany. The gods have painted their finest art on the fields setting each acre ablaze in color. Broad brush strokes of red chase yellow and green across the rolling hillsides. Olive leaves gently blow in the wind showing a little green to darker gray sides to their leaves. Vineyards line their grape vines up in extra straight rows to give an appearance of stripes lacing the hills and valleys. Cyprus trees stand erect like soldiers in formation defining the property lines. Old majestic farm houses dot the landscape. Even the road is outlined in shades of red, yellow, white and green as the flowers peek their heads around the guard rails. The road crisscrosses through this beauty in a rolling fashion so as to not allow one to see the whole picture at once. Little by little the rainbow appears and then hides again as one rides into a wooded area. In order to not be too over stimulated, the route provides a few uphill's that takes the mind from enjoying the environment to settling momentarily into a survival mode. "I think I can, I think I can, oh yes I can make it up this hill!"

Under the Tuscan sun is a world of nature's beauty at its finest!

And under this sun grows the finest of olives that are pressed into the finest of all the world's olive oil. In order to make sure that the group really knew what was high quality and cheap car oil, a lesson in rating the oils was arranged, Giorgio is an owner of over 1100 acres of land covered with olive trees, is the head of a production company and is a certified olive oil tester. A smell here, a mouthful there, a switch of the olive over the tongue and then spit. The group passed in flying colors and is now going home to throw out all the oils in the kitchen cupboard.

Dinner was had at a small Tuscan restaurant run by the greatest and proudest owner in all of the land. Typical dishes came out of the kitchen one after another to once again fill everyone to capacity. And of course the local red wine needed to flow!

Cyprus Trees Like Soldiers At Attention

Home Among the Olive Trees

Vineyard Cascading over the Hill

Dario and Lisa in the Countryside

More Cyprus on Duty


Long Horned Cows Napping

A Small Home on the Hill!

A Farmer Tending His Vineyard

The Rainbow Along The Road

Approaching Magliano

The Oldest Olive Tree in Tuscany

Dario and Lisa at the Tree

Lisa at the Entrance to Magliano

First Sighting of the Sea!

Jackie: "Is That Really Water?" Lisa: "Wait a Minute and I will Check!"


Dario and Sue "Strutting the Beat"!

Well Earned Beer After a Hard Day's Ride

Giorgio the Olive Oil Master -- Olive Oil Testing 101

Olive Oil from Georgio's Grove -- Our Gift

Fun At Dinner

Jackie Using Her Newly Learned Skill of Picking the Right Red Wine!

The Restaurant Owner "Telling" Us What Was to Come!